Sustainable Aquatic Food Systems
Complexities in food system transformation
Aisa O. Manlos
Social Sciences Department, ZMT
Coastal and marine social-ecological systems are important for achieving food and nutrition security. In such systems, livelihoods such as capture fishing, gleaning, and aquaculture provide income and access to nutritious and affordable food. However, the ability of such systems to realise food and nutrition security particularly for poor and vulnerable groups are complicated and hindered by a number of social, ecological, and political factors. These include environmental degradation, uneven access to resources and distribution of benefits, disadvantageous power asymmetries, social injustice, social inequalities, and missing or ineffective institutions, among others. In many parts of the world, making aquatic food systems sustainable requires a transformative change towards sustainability. This is a complex process that requires fundamental changes not only in technology and production practices, but also in the social and political fabrics within which aquatic food production is embedded. This presentation reflects on the complexity of transforming aquatic food systems towards sustainability. To contextualise the discussion, the presentation takes the social-ecological system of Central Luzon, Philippines as a case study to focus on. In the case study, I describe sustainability challenges with a focus on food, and analyse key drivers with a strong focus on institutions. I then identify opportunities for tranformation and discuss principles and strategic actions for facilitating transformative change. The presentation closes with a reflection on why food for the poor needs to be more central in marine social science discourses and how the transformation discourse can productively advance this agenda.
Connecting the dots: Social-ecological network analysis for marine resource management
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)
Natural resource management in the marine realm deals with complex interactions and inter-dependencies between ocean and society (and vice versa). In this context, the social-ecological network approach offers a promising pathway towards understanding coupled human-environment systems by capturing intricate relationships and bridging the gap between traditional scientific disciplines. We apply this approach to study small-scale fisheries management in Latin America (with a regional focus on Peru and the Galapagos islands) using a variety of network analysis tools focusing both on the individual resource user (ego-network approach) as well as the whole social-ecological system level (fully articulated social-ecological networks). The goal is to use different network modelling techniques to study the social and ecological implications of various management scenarios, environmental disturbances and the crossing of tipping points in the social-ecological system. With this, we are working towards a versatile, accessible and comprehensive decision-making tool for a sustainable management of marine resources that can be applied in comparatively data-poor settings.
© Michael Kriegl